Trench Warfare

18 Dec

After watching a show on the Discovery Channel about P-47 Thunderbolts I was pretty amped up and ready to fly something.  I’m on ‘Christmas break’ at my parents’ place, which means my only connection to the outside world is this laptop.  It’s not like I have any good flight games myself, but at least under normal circumstances I could have downloaded the Ace Combat demo and done some barrel rolls.  But, like I said, I only have this laptop.  And that means Flash games; but after settling on a helicopter game (a shitty one, at that) I lost interest.  Poking around Kongregate I came across a game called Warfare: 1917.  Oooh.  I noticed it was made, at least in part, by Armor Games, who usually produce great stuff, so I gave it a click.

vgd_trench

It’s maybe most appropriate to say that the game is a user interface moreso than a game; your input into the UI affects the graphical representations of your actions.  It’s the sort of game that wouldn’t suffer much if the playing field was a spreadsheet.

There are two sides, the British and the Germans, and although the game suggests the Germans are more ardent defenders and the Brits are more accustomed to mass assault, I never noticed a difference.  At your disposal are a number of units on the task bar: riflemen, grenadiers, machine gunners, sniper, officer, and tank.  Each unit has its own cooldown rate which is refreshed whenever any unit is selected.  This means that to build a tank one must wait the demanded amount of time; building any other unit will refresh the cooldown.  Also at your disposal are artillery options: mortars, artillery, gas, and anti-tank.

But what makes Warfare: 1917 more than just two sides running at one another with weapons is the trenches.  A map can have any number of trenches and can range from one screen length to about three, with sections of barbed wire and mines in between.  Only three units can occupy a trench at any one time, so you find yourself waiting for opportune moments to unleash waves of troops at an enemy trench: get three units in a trench and queue a fourth, then sally all the units out of the trench at close intervals, to avoid artillery decimating them all at once.

On top of that are simple ‘ground taken’ and morale meters; run out of ground and you lose, run out of morale and you surrender.  Only good strategy can stop you from losing ground, but reducing casualties, making successful attacks or defences, and throwing officers into the mix will keep your troops fighting.

It’s not an exceptionally deep game, especially when compared to some sort of actual wargame, but there’s enough there to keep you interested for some time.

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